Home Australia Peter FitzSimons’ own colleague launches fierce public attack on him for branding football fans ‘bogans’ in ‘condescending’ rants

Peter FitzSimons’ own colleague launches fierce public attack on him for branding football fans ‘bogans’ in ‘condescending’ rants

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Journalist Andrew Webster (pictured) called his colleague FitzSimons

A prominent rugby league journalist has hit colleague and concussion advocate Peter FitzSimons with stunning spray for treating NRL figures and fans as ‘bogans’.

Former Wallaby FitzSimons, now a prominent columnist and author, has clashed with NRL figures in recent times over his hardline stance on concussions leading to the deadly brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

FitzSimons has reignited his ongoing feud with former player and current NRL360 co-host James Graham by saying Roosters captain James Tedesco should retire after being dropped in a match against the Bulldogs.

Graham said FitzSimons was “talking nonsense” and using Tedesco’s profile to boost his own relevance.

Journalist Andrew Webster (pictured) called colleague FitzSimons “condescending” and told him to stop treating NRL fans and stakeholders like “out of touch bogans”.

FitsSimons (pictured with wife Lisa Wilkinson) has been a long-time critic of the NRL's attempts to prevent concussions and the deadly brain disease CTE.

FitsSimons (pictured with wife Lisa Wilkinson) has been a long-time critic of the NRL’s attempts to prevent concussions and the deadly brain disease CTE.

‘This type of behavior [from FitzSimons] “He’s using our game and the very serious problem of concussion to stay alive,” he said.

Now FitzSimons Sydney Morning Herald His colleague Andrew Webster lashed out at his co-worker in a no-holds-barred column on Friday.

Webster said FitzSimons wrote a ‘condescending’ and ‘personal’ article reacting to his story warning the NRL not to overreact to calls to ban kickoffs after Dragons star Moses Suli was knocked out in the Anzac Day clash against the Sydney Roosters last Thursday.

Webster wrote that the NRL should abandon ‘cosmetic changes’ such as calls to ban the kick-off and seriously address tackling technique to prevent incidents like Suli’s from occurring, starting at youth football level.

FitzSimons called for Sydney Roosters captain James Tedesco to stand down after suffering a concussion against the Bulldogs this year.

FitzSimons called for Sydney Roosters captain James Tedesco to stand down after suffering a concussion against the Bulldogs this year.

Newcastle captain Kalyn Ponga (pictured being lifted off the ground after a collision) is another NRL player who has had major problems due to head knocks.

Newcastle captain Kalyn Ponga (pictured being lifted off the ground after a collision) is another NRL player who has had major problems due to head knocks.

Dragons star Moses Suli was knocked out in the first play of the Anzac Day clash against the Sydney Roosters, and Webster's column on the reaction to the incident resulted in what he called an article

Dragons star Moses Suli was knocked out in the first play of the Anzac Day clash against the Sydney Roosters, and Webster’s column on the reaction to the incident resulted in what he called a “personal” article by FitzSimons.

FitzSimons then responded in his Thursday column, quoting “one of the world’s leading concussion advocates,” Dr. Chris Nowinski.

He pointed to changes in rugby and the NFL that had not eroded the structure of those games and said major changes also needed to be made in the NRL.

‘So where do you draw the line for making the game safer? “I will draw the line at brain health, not insist on keeping a small part of the game that is causing harm,” he wrote.

“The game has a legal and moral obligation to fix these things.”

That was enough for Webster, who criticized FitzSimons for how he has framed his ongoing crusade against concussions in sports.

“When colleague Peter FitzSimons writes an article as condescending and personal as the one published online by the Herald on Thursday, well, you have to fight,” he wrote.

‘FitzSimons took issue with my column on Monday about the debate raging in the NRL over the kick-off and how it should be banned to prevent concussions.

‘As his lifelong colleague, I was hurt but not surprised. He does these things to most people who offer him a contrary or slightly different position on concussion.

‘It has been relentless. He lectures players, most recently Roosters captain James Tedesco, about retirement. He has criticized clubs, coaches and commentators.

‘His constant criticism of former Bulldogs captain James Graham, who spoke openly about his own concussion issues in a well-intentioned podcast with The Australian, has become tiresome.

‘It’s too much. Rugby league people are getting tired of being positioned as out-of-touch bogans who don’t care about their own.

WhatsNew2Day Australia has contacted FitzSimons for comment.

James Graham, who admitted to feeling the impacts of numerous concussions during his playing days, has repeatedly clashed with bitter rival FitzSimons.

James Graham, who admitted to feeling the impacts of numerous concussions during his playing days, has repeatedly clashed with bitter rival FitzSimons.

NRL champion player and coach Paul Green took his own life in 2022 and was later found to be suffering from the devastating effects of CTE.

NRL champion player and coach Paul Green took his own life in 2022 and was later found to be suffering from the devastating effects of CTE.

FitzSimons had not returned serve as of Friday morning, but responded to a follower on social media platform X who raised a point about older people struggling with CTE after playing contact sports when they were younger.

‘Caring for former footballer patients with early dementia is a nightmare. “Even the older ones are still physically strong and incredibly aggressive,” the follower posted.

‘It is extremely difficult to de-escalate without chemical intervention. And many dementia units in care homes can’t manage them.’

FitzSimons agreed with the point and said it was a key reason why he was trying so hard to change the rules in the NRL to prevent concussions.

‘Yeah. The stories and reality are deeply distressing. The worst of all is for the families who have to face it, and especially for the wives. Absolutely tragic,” she responded.

“Overall, those faced with the reality of older footballers with CTE – the absolute tragedy they and their families face – cannot help but strive to change the rules, so that footballers today have a better chance of avoiding the same thing. . destination.’

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